RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia lawmakers have approved legislation to allow people convicted of certain crimes to have their criminal records sealed.
Supporters say the bill will help remove obstacles to obtaining jobs, housing, and education for thousands of Virginians.
The legislation will set up a system for automatically sealing nine misdemeanor charges after seven years if the person isn't convicted of any other crimes during that time.
Charges eligible for automatic sealing include underage possession of alcohol, simple larceny and possession of marijuana.
It would also allow people convicted of other misdemeanors and certain felonies to petition the court to request that those records be sealed. A judge would have to review and approve those requests.